Archive | August, 2008

>Blog Drought

29 Aug

>Okay, so I have a MILLION things to blog about and haven’t had time because it seems like a black cloud of doom has settled over us here. Not a black cloud like, “Hey, I have cancer and just got fired and everyone I know is sick and dying!” black cloud, but more of a “The world is full of idiots and any stupid thing that can possibly go wrong WILL go wrong” kind of black cloud. But then I remind myself of the Hank Hill adage: I don’t have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem.

Here are some highlights:

  • We got new cell phones. They were so pretty. I started programming mine and the “8” button didn’t work.
  • AT&T did not think it was their problem. It was Sony Ericsson’s problem.

  • Sony Ericsson did not think it was their problem; I should go to my local AT&T Wireless store and figure it out with them.

  • I go to the store and return my phone. They don’t carry the model I want. They can’t complete the return until Sam, who works 12+ hours a day, can come with me because they need his debit card, which was used to make the purchase.
  • The phone was finally successfully returned, but the contract renewal was reversed. Although it shows up in all of the ACCOUNT computers, both at the store and with people I talk to online, it doesn’t show up on the computers of the people who handle ordering new phones when you renew your account. So I have to wait 72 hours from the time I returned my phone in order to order yet a new phone. Idiot problem, idiot problem!

  • After returning the phone to the AT&T store, we discover that the Nissan would not start. We jump start it with the van and I take it to Book Club over at the church. The air conditioner was not working. The heat index was 105. I’m sure I smelled lovely.
  • The next day, the dishwasher overflowed.
  • I spent several hours dealing with my idiot problem at AT&T. Nothing was accomplished.
  • I decided to make a nice dinner on the grill. The grill wouldn’t heat up past 200 degrees.
  • Yesterday was Clark’s first day of preschool. That is another post that I want to do justice, so it will have to come a little later. The BAD part is that because the Nissan was officially dead at this point, I had to take Sam to work at 6:45 with the kids in tow.
  • Ran home, got them ready for school/the parent’s meeting. Breakfast dishes from yesterday? Still sitting on the kitchen table. That is how much extra time I’ve had in the last 24 hours.
  • Took 2 dozen homemade rolls to the church for the missionary zone conference.
  • Took Meredith to the doctor because she’s still not walking and she crawls funny. Found out our pediatrician, whom we LOVE and is a bright spot in our Louisiana experience, no longer accepts our insurance.
  • Went grocery shopping. We’re preparing for Hurricane Gustav, so everyone was there buying water. Waited 1 1/2 hours for gas. Somehow got stuck in the Stupid Line where people can’t figure out the right way to stick their debit cards in the machine.
  • Kids fell asleep in the car on the way home. Threw them in bed, hadn’t even stuck the frozen peas in the freezer, and Sam called and told me he needed me to pick him up.

  • Pick up Sam. Jump start the Nissan so we can take it to Auto Zone and have it diagnosed. It dies right under an overpass on the highway.

  • Sam has to stay (and it was SO hot yesterday) while I ran home to get the number of the mechanic we were referred to. I get back, we talk to the mechanic, turns out his shop is quite far away. He suggests we buy a new battery (the problem was the alternator) and drive out there. We drop $80 on a new battery and then the rain started. Like windshield wipers were going as fast as they could and we still couldn’t see. It finally subsided and he installed then new battery and he followed me, lights off, to this place out in the boondocks. Don’t think the Deliverance song wasn’t playing through my head when we drove down this road:

Facing west:

    Facing east:

    Facing the sign:

The cats:

The picture of the cats doesn’t even begin to do it justice. I couldn’t even count how many cats were there and they were everywhere–on cars, under cars, in cars. The kids were thrilled.

Anyway, I just heard from the mechanic, and it’s not GREAT news, but it’s not horrible, either. The alternator needs to be replaced and an oil leak (which ruined the alternator) needs to be fixed and it’ll be around $240. Sam, if you’re reading this, let me know so I can give him the go-ahead to do it! Let’s hope my dark cloud of doom is passing!


>Clark’s First Day of Preschool

29 Aug

>So yesterday was Clark’s first day of preschool. I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’d been looking forward to this day ever since we signed him up for school back in May. He just craves more social interaction than I can give him and he tends to act out when he doesn’t get it, so I knew this would be a really good thing for all of us.

He seems so big to me at home, talking the way he does, copping attitude like a teenager. But yesterday, during the parents’ meeting, I was out in the hall with Meredith and his class was going to the playground. He didn’t see me, but all the little kids in the class walked out in a little line, having a hard time staying in the little line. And he was there, with his hair that won’t stay in one place, trying so hard to figure out what “behind” and “in front of” meant, and he looked so little. They grow up too fast. Two years isn’t a long time, but two years ago, he was a baby, just starting to walk and talk, and now he’s a little boy.

>Leftover Utah Pictures

29 Aug


The many moods of Meredith (in a 5 minute time period):

The Bean Museum (we were unbelievably lucky to catch a reptile show!):

Clark and his best baby buddy, Beck:

He likes other babies way better than he likes his sister.
We had such a good time and I was really bad about taking pictures. It was really good for me to go home and see that everything is still there and I feel so much less homesick now. We had so much fun with Marcie and Kim and their kids and the cooking show and going to the park with grandpa and walking along the “trails” as Clark called them, eating at Costa Vida or Noodles and Co. and Kneaders and Zupa, hanging with Nurse Heidi, seeing Joy…it was awesome. And I love you guys and miss you all!

>Swear Words!!

27 Aug

>AT&T Wireless SUCKS!!! There. I got that off my chest.

>And We’re Back!!

20 Aug

>The trip home wasn’t any better. No drama, bumped flights, or speeding tickets, but by the time it was all said and done, we were actively travelling for about 18 1/2 hours with 3 flights, 2 2 1/2 hour layovers, a Clark meltdown, a Meredith meltdown, and nearly a mommy meltdown. But we all got here in one piece and I was sure glad because I honestly was convinced that someone was going to die while we were all apart.

One of the highlights was on the flight from Minneapolis to Memphis when I looked over and saw a dude’s BARE FOOT sticking between the wall of the plane and my seat. I tried to get a picture, but Clark was sleeping on my lap and I couldn’t get to my camera. And THEN I heard Meredith shriek with glee and watched her reach over, grab the dude’s big toe, and stick it in her mouth. That’ll teach HIM!

Anyway, I’m so sorry I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to while I was there. I felt like we were going, going, going and I didn’t get to see everyone or do everything that I wanted to (or spend as much time with the people that I did see!) The cooking class went great and we had so much fun. Who would’ve thought that I’d be sad to come back to Louisiana because there was so much more to do in Utah?!

>Here and Alive (Barely!)

12 Aug

>So it wouldn’t be a J. family travel adventure without a little drama, right?? So my travel plans have changed about 50 times in the past five days and yesterday was no exception! After much discussion, Adriann, Sam, and I decided that it would just be cheaper for me to drive to Baton Rouge myself instead of Adriann driving me and Sam picking me up. So I lugged into my car 2 suitcases, 2 giant carseats, 2 children, 1 Lightning McQueen backpack, 1 “technology” bag with the camera, GPS, laptop, and DVD player, and 1 giant backpack full of baby crap and thing designed to keep babies entertained on my 3 flights from Louisiana to Utah. Got out of P-town approximately on time. Driving along when I got pulled over. For going 79 in a 75. And of course I got a ticket AND a court date. Awesome.

We got to Baton Rouge, I parked the car, got all my stuff into the airport, went to check in and was informed that I had been bumped from my Northwest flight to a Continental flight. Good news? I only had to make 1 connection instead of 2 and I’d arrive in Salt Lake City 1 hour earlier. And they’d give me $400 in NWA credits. Semi-bad news? I’d have to hang out in the airport for the next couple of hours. No biggie, right? Well, the next couple of hours turned out to be quite a bit longer because the weather in Baton Rouge was bad and the plane was delayed. So instead of having a leisurely 2-2 1/2 hour layover in Houston, I had about 30 minutes to get to my next flight. But it wasn’t just another flight, it was on another airline in one of of the biggest airports in the world. So I had Meredith on my front in the Mei Tai, my backpack on my back, my “technology” bag over my shoulder, and Clark running in his flip flops with his backpack on. We had to get from the Continental commuter terminal to the regular Continental terminal and then we had to take airport transportation from Continental over to Delta. But then someone had told me the wrong gate for my Delta departure. So I’m hanging out at the gate and wondering why no one’s there if the plane’s leaving in 15-20 minutes when it dawns on me that maybe I’m in the wrong place. Completely panicked, I start running through the terminal, looking for the flight leaving to SLC, can’t find it and run up to a counter with a flight leaving to San Francisco. Almost in tears, I ask if they can tell me where I need to be and they tell me I’m in the right place! So they get boarding passes for the kids and I run to get on the plane, hot, sweaty, tired, and disgusting. I see this dude (not just any dude–a dude in a pilot uniform) who looks really familiar and I look at his nametag, and sure enough, it was a friend from high school! So we chitchatted for a few minutes and he offered me a ride to Logan. I sat down, called my parents, and they said that would be okay with them to not have to come get me, so we had a very interesting 3 1/2 hours to Houston, most of which Meredith spent with the people sitting behind us (she thought they were way nicer and more interesting than me).

I was scared my luggage had gotten lost in the shuffle, especially since I barely made the connection in Houston, but it showed up just fine and Andy gave me a ride to Logan. It was fun to see a friendly face and to get caught up and I’m so glad to see my family! Oh, and it was 67 degrees in Logan when we pulled in last night. Sam, we miss you and love you and wish you could be here with us!

>I’m Off!

11 Aug

>I’m leaving tomorrow morning for Utah! Pray I don’t die along the way–I’m a tiny bit nervous! I haven’t flown without Sam in 7 1/2 years, let alone with just me and the kids!

>Tagged by Manda!

10 Aug

>Okay, my Google Reader lost everything and I’m finally catching up on everyone’s blogs! I have a couple of tags to catch up on, apparently! 🙂

1. What is your favorite fictional character from a book or movie?
Lorelai Gilmore, hands down!

2. What are your 3 best physical assets?
Right now, not much! No, I think I havee cute hair (when I do it)…perpetually skinny ankles and wrists (except for when I’m preggo)…button nose that will make me look younger than I am until it makes me look weird.

3. Name 3 attributes you would be proud to pass on to your children:
My desire to see the best in people, my sense of humor, my ability to go into high-power-mode in a crisis.

4. Name 3 attributes that you hope not to pass on to your children:
My cynicism, scatterbrained-ness/messiness, and my fear of confrontation–I want them to feel confident in standing up for themselves and other people.

5.If you had to give up one of the following things FOREVER, which would you choose?1. all makeup 2. flat iron/curling iron 3. razors (laser hair removal isn’t an option):
Flat iron/curling iron. Yeah, they make my life easier, but I could survive without them. Unlike razors–I would die without a razor.

6. What do you think is your best quality?
I can see the humor (or at least the positive) in just about every situation.

7. What is your worst quality?
I can be a brat, especially to people I love the most.

8. What would be a perfect day for you?
Sam home from work, kids on their best behavior, and going somewhere/doing something fun together. Not in Louisiana. Oh, wait, there’s nothing fun to do here, so it would HAVE to be somewhere else.

9. Where is your favorite place you have ever visited?
Disneyworld. How cheesy is that??

10. Name something you are really good at?
I do a mean load of laundry.

11. What are you most shallow about?
If I see you wearing a cape or a shirt air-brushed with a wolf, mythical or mystical creature, or anime, that will be a hurdle that we’ll have to overcome if we become friends.

12. What is something you’re a little bit conceited about?
I think recipe-wise, my food blog is at least as good as The Pioneer Woman’s. Yes, her pictures are better than my pictures (not speaking for Sara’s pics–they’re awesome!), but a sandwich on a bagel or a yogurt smoothie or a yogurt parfait AND they get hundreds of comments?? C’mon!

13. Name 3 things you are embarrassed to admit:
1. Cockroaches no longer horrify me. 2. Sometimes I dance when no one’s around. And believe me, if you’ve ever seen me dance, that’s pretty embarassing. 3. I giggle when I’m watching the Olympics and they talk about the breaststroke. Heh heh.

14. Tag 3 people:
Adriann, Kat, and Carly. And anyone else who wants to play.
14. Tag 3 people:

>Books: Stolen from Jae

10 Aug

>Okay, here are the instructions:

1. Copy the list on your blog.
2. Read through the list and mark the books you’ve read in bold.
3. Italicize any you started, but didn’t finish.
4. Color the ones you loved in green. (Or whatever color, really.)

1. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
2. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
3. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
4. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
5. Life of PI – Yann Martel
6. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
7. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
8. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
9. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
10. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
11. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
12. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
13. His Dark Materials (trilogy) – Philip Pullman
14. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
15. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
16. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
17. Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
18. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
19. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
20. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
21. Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis
22. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
23. Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
24. Animal Farm – George Orwell
25. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
26. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
27. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
28. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
29. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
30. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
31. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
32. Complete Works of Shakespeare (that’s an awful lot to read…I’ve read a lot, but not all, by any means!)
33. Ulysses – James Joyce
34. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
35. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
36. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
37. The Bible
38. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
39. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
40. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
41. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
42. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
45. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
46. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
47. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
48. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
49. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien (I came SOOOOO close! Halfway through Return of the King…)
50. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
51. Little Women – Louisa M. Alcott
52. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
53. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
54. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
55. Middlemarch – George Eliot
56. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
57. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
58. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
59. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
60. Emma – Jane Austen
61. Persuasion – Jane Austen
62. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
63. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
64. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
65. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving (one of my ALL-TIME favorites!!)
66. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
67. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
68. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
69. Atonement – Ian McEwan
70. Dune – Frank Herbert
71. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
72. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
73. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
74. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
75. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
76. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
77. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
78. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
79. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
80. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
81. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
82. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
83. Dracula – Bram Stoker
84. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
85. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
86. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
87. Germinal – Emile Zola
88. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
89. Possession – A.S. Byatt
90. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
91. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
92. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
93. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
94. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
95. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
96. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
97. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
98. Watership Down – Richard Adams
99. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
100. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas


6 Aug

>Today, Clark brought me a beanie baby kitten which, apparently, grew in his tummy and is named Ruce.

Also, he’s been reading this Star Wars book with Sam lately that features Jabba the Hutt. He’s also often been watching Over the Hedge a lot for his “movie rests.” Today, he told me he wanted to watch Jabba the Hudge for his movie rest.

Funny kid.